tv Hearing Focuses on Highway and Transit Infrastructure Funding CSPAN April 5, 2017 9:03pm-11:08pm EDT
by now we've seen the reports in the resulting collapse of section i-85 northeast of atlanta. this is a critically important piece of our system which carries over 400,000 cars a day. with that volume of traffic, it's amazing there wasn't any loss of life in this incident. i commend the state and local officials for responding so quickly to the crisis. i want to commend the u.s. department of transportation for acting quickly to release funds, emergency funds and provide assistance. we're here to examine the implementation of the fast act of state and local partners. it's the first long term surface transportation reauthorization bill in a decade and it's important foundation for building a 21st century infrastructure. as a five-year bill provides very much needed certainty and funding so that our nonfederal partners can make smart long-term investments. the fact that fast act is a forward looking law that puts an emphasis on project of national
existence streamlining project delivery and icnnovative solution. state department and transit systems and local entities have the important task of delivering transportation projects to the communities. as they carry out these projects, the witnesses have a first-hand view of how federal transportation policies are being implemented by the u.s. department of transportation. we look forward to building 21st century infrastructure with our state and local partners. now recognize ranking member, the subcommittee for your opening statement. >> thank you very much. grateful for this subcommittee hearing. i think it indicates that our subcommittee wants to get behind all of the interest that we've heard on infrastructure and see what we can really do we know
that a large infrastructure package idea, the idea of a large infrastructure package, which is on the minds of many in the administration and on our minds is not going to magically appear. we did a lot of, and i'll say, deservedly so, a lot of self con garage lags when we passed the first service transportation bill in ten years and i must say i'm very grateful, mr. chairman, that it was a good bipartisan effort and i know you share with me the disappointment in order to get any increase whatsoever after ten years, we had to make a six-year bill a five-year bill. i don't know how long we can keep that kind of disinvestment
from going on. i say disinvestment, because if you're not even investing in a state of good repair, much less the new infrastructure we need, you're not investing, we are disinvesting and when i say disinvesting, remember how we built this country. ever since this idea of the federal transportation infrastructure package was created by president eisenhower, the country has understood that you can't be a great country unless you continuously invest in insfra structure of various ki kind. the congressional budget office
tells us that we face a shortfall just over the next decade if we're trying to continue to fund the fast act funding levels and it says we need 17 billion more a year than fast act levels at the federal level to improve our infrastructure and maintain a state of good repair reducing that backlog. i'm very pleased that the president has said good things about infrastructure so i hastened to get a hold of his so-called skinny budget and was very disappointed to see really unheard of cuts to popular transportation programs. so instead of investing after my hopes had been raised, for
example, in transit, urgently ne needed to alleviate congestion, president wants to stop all new investments in transit by cutting off the new starts program. i'm grateful nevertheless by continuing bipartisan ship on this committee. i was pleased to sign a letter with chairman graves and the leadership of the full committee to urge the appropriation committee to fully fund all fast act programs. and the upcoming 2018 budget. i'm still banking on a president who talks about a trillion dollars proposal, at least supporting us as we fight to maintain the meager funding levels we had.
we know that the budget, i'm not terribly -- i'm not terribly pulling my hair out that the president cuts will go through because no matter who is president, the appropriators always rewrite the budget. . >> making projects more expensive than traditional funding mechanisms and regulatory reforms than making real investment and investors scepter approach will do little to improve infrastructure across the nation. you simply can't build your infrastructure and expect that toll roads will somehow pay for it. there must be a revenue stream
and for the modern era in american life, it is always with this committee and subcommittee. nor can we streamline our way out of inadequate funding, secretary child said recently, the problem is not money, imagine saying that about roads and transit. the problem is always money. >> she didn't say that, that was editorializing. it was the delays to permitting processes that hold up projects for years making them risky informsments are nationwide, undergo any rigorous environmental review and are
exempt from rigorous levels of review. also refutes the notion that more streamlining now is the prudent cost of action it concludes that additional streamlining provisions in the fast act are actually slowing down the department of u.s. department of transportation's ability to implement the project delivery accelerations put into map 21, in other words, streamlining measures on top of each other continues to believe
that it helps us improve the ultimate project. are crucial to the successful and expeditious advancement of transportation projects getting public -- i'm sorry, gutting public participation in the name of cutting red tape is something that will harm our roads and harm constituents who use our roads infrastructure. i don't believe we can reinvent the wheel when it comes to transportation and infrastructure, i just think there's no way around our obligation, as the congress of the united states to provide states and local governments with a funding and the flexibility that they alone know what to do with to smart and
efficient projects, allowing the states who have the wisdom once we give them the money to go ahead. i very much look forward to today's witnesses i've read the headlines about atlanta. and i-85 will be interesting to hear what we can do and what you can do on that unforseen circumstance. thank you very much and i look forward to the testimony. thank you, mr. chairman. >> now turn to ranking committee of the full committee. >> thank you mr. chairman, thanks for this important hearing. i'll just restate a few things because they do merit restating. we have a $836 billion backlog on that need, nearly 140,000 bridges need repair and replacement. over $90 billion just to bring
existing transit up to a state of good repair, let alone build out new transit options for people, yet we haven't increased the user fee here in wds ashing, d.c. in the quarter of a century, over the past few years, 17 states have raised their gas tax and nobody has been recalled, nobody has lost their re-election and it has not been a controversy, the american people get it. they're tired of sitting in traffic. they're tired of blowing of blowing out tires and they're tired of being detoured around weight limited or closed bridges. they're tired of the dekreped state of our mass transit. they want to see action. i'm sending a letter to urge her to come down and work with congress to create a con sus around real investment and solutions for the nations infrastructure problems.
>> i'm hearing a lot of talk about infrastructure banks, private tax credits and we're doing to streamline the federal approval process. let's address that briefly. first off most p-3s are projects a billion dollars or larger. we'll have a rate of return. we'll attract the investment. they have to be told of some other way to recoup the investment. they're generally 5 to 1 public money to private money. now, the speaker has said he wants 40-1 private money to public money. that means no more p 3s. there are no investors are going to put up, you know, at a 40 to 1 ratio and do a p3. they generally put up 10, 15 at the most, and the rest comes from local bonding or state bonding, municipal bonds, whatever. so that's myth number one.
infrastructure, banks, private activity bonds, you know, those are new forms of local borrowing again they require a revenue stream, hence tolling or some other way of recouping the investment and, of course, they do increase the cost now secretary chow, unfortunately was given some alternate facts by somebody. investors say they're waiting to invest, so the problem is not money, it's delays caused by permitting projects that hold up projects up years even decades making them risky investments. no, that's not the problem. in fact we made 42 major policy changes for streamlining in 21. some of them have run into conflicts with the fast act we did streamlining and more streamlining on top of streamlining, let's get all of
that implemented and see if there's still any issues. i don't think you'll find many. in fact, more than 90% of the projects go for it which is basically filling out a few sheets of paper and might take you a month or two months at the most. that isn't the issue here. you can't streamline your way out of lack of funding. 4% of projects require environmental impact statements and as ranking member norton noted, most of those are held up at the local or state level because of controversies surrounding those projects redesign and other things which came out in hearings which are required under the process. that's 4% of the projects. 96% don't even have to go through a rigorous environmental review. recent report by the treasury looked at 40 significantly
transportation water projects whose completion has been slowed or in jeopardy, prove positive about the streamline. no, the report found that a lack of public funding is, by far, the major factor hindering the completion of those projects. so plain and simple, a provision in the fast act that says if congress appropriates more money to transportation, it flows through the policies in the fast act. we don't need to spend a year or two rewriting the policies, arguing over transit highway split. arguing how much goes here or there, arguing -- we don't have to go through any of the policy debate. all we need to do is have the guts to put up a little bit of money and that's why i introduced the penny for progress. as i've said before. if anybody around here thinks they'll lose their election, if they vote on something that caps the indexization increase at one and a half gallons a year, then
you don't need it. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you. he's testifying on behalf of the american state highway and transportation officials. we also have mr. gary thomas who is president of the executive director of the dallas area rapid transit, he's testifying on behalf of the american public transportation association. >> thank you very much. mr. chairman. as a representative from dallas i'm proud to introduce not only a friend and partner, but a good executive who is mr. gary thomas, president and executive director of the dallas area rapid transit, which we call d.a.r.t. the largest growing metropolitan area in the country.
he joined d.a.r.t. in 1988 and since grown it to the longest and largest at 93 miles long. dart has become a leading example of how to effectively manage and grow flourishing public transportation. i happen to know they have strong relationships with our federal partners at us d.o.t. and the federal transit administration thanks to mr. thomas. he's effective at cultivating strategic partnerships to meet the needs of robust transit network in the dallas metroplex. with that, mr. chairman, i am proud to introduce mr. thomas to the committee with great anticipation to his testimony and his plea for money. thank you, and i yield back.
>> it's my distinct pleasure to recognize and welcome my friend kaseem reed mayor of atlanta. i can think of no better witness than to offer the honorable kaseem reed. when he first came into office, he balanced atlanta's budget and took care of the challenge of the unfunded pension system, which had been languishing for many years, that's been taken care of successfully six years a ago. he has invested in hiring more police officers in atlanta. our crime rate continues to go down. mayor reed is the 59th mayor of the city of atlanta, serving in that capacity since 2010.
bipartisan way with federal stake holders on economic development and transportation issues. >> atlanta experienced economic development and a population boom, for instance, his work work with governor nathan deal and the obama administration to obtain federal support for the port of savannah expansion project has resulted in much economic development for the atlanta region and for the state of georgia. upgrading roads and bridges and improve the city's transportation infrastructure. the city of atlanta under mayor reed's leadership is undergoing a historic $2.6 billion expansion of the metropolitan
atlanta rapid transit authority as well as expanding and completing such as atlanta's belt line, which is a 22 mile stretch of trails and transit around the city on the -- this project has opened up a lot of economic development in terms of new housing and interconnected and also at the same time he has prosided over the opening of the maynard jackson international terminal at the atlanta airport as altima chutlanta matures int class city. he's overseeing a $6 billion
expansion of the hartsfield jackson airport. building a state of the art stadium world class facility with the retractable roof for the falcons. so much that we can talk about mayor's leadership of atlanta. he's leveraging the strength of partnerships with the state of georgia, college and universities in the private sector to build an innovative transportation infrastructure that ensures mobility and creativity for atlanta's residents, businesses and visitors, all taking place while atlanta remains an affordable city where every day working people can afford to live, work and play. with that i'm proud to introduce to this committee, mayor kaseem reed. >> with that i'll ask consent that our witnesses full
statements be included in the record. without objection, that is so ordered. since your written testimony is going to be part of the committee, the committee will please ask that you limit your summary to five minutes. with that, mr. patterson, we'll start with you. first we want to thank you, mr. chairman, and other members of your committee for your leadership and efforts to increase the efficiency of delivering transportation projects cooperation with the federal government. they continue to seek opportunities and creates solutions dissolve the deteriorating transportation system. all of us have come to realize
traditional funding is important that serves as a partial solution to the problem. the fast authorization of $305 billion for federal highway, highway safety, transit, passenger rail programs from 2016 to 2020 could not have come at a could not have been timelier and transportation infrastructure. it involves reforms contained in both the fast act. it is our hope that congress will feel comfortable in seeking additional reforms that will provide further opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of transportation programs and project delivery while remaining responsible stew wards of taxpayer resources and
both human and natural environments. the days were a complete of ever increasing fuel efficient vehicles is nearing its end. what we consider -- what we consider innovative funding today must and will become a new normal for funding transportation. until that time, it is imperative that the annual obligation authority and the fast act be fully honored, the structural cash-flow deficit be resolved and the schedule of rescissions of contract authority be abolished. even in today's environment of financing solution it remains imperative that direct funding of transportation investments remain the primary focus.
that is because the highway trust fund continues to remain at a crossroads. the highway trust fund has provided stable, reliable and sometimes substantial highway and transit funding for deck ka since its inception in 1956, but this is no longer the case. since 2008 it has sustained through a series. has been sustained through a series of general fund transfers now amounting to $140 billion. according to the january 2017 baseline of congressional -- of the congressional budget office, the highway trust fund spending is estimated to exceed receipts by about $17 billion in fy '21
growing to about $4 billion to 2027. >> it's expected to experience a significant cash shortfall in 2021 since it cannot incur negative -- i'm sorry, since it can't incur negative balance. estimate 40% drop from 2020 to the following year to 46.2 billion to 27.7 billion. in the past, such a similar shortfall situations have led to the possibility of reduction in federal reimbursements to states on existing obligations leading to a serious cash-flow problems for states and resulting in project delays. based on the federal surface transportation programs long
track record efficiency and flexibility, we recommend that any increase in federal funds should flow through the existing fast act based program structure rather than through untested approaches that require more time and oversight. though the certainty certainly significant benefits from investment and transportation infrastructure goes well beyond short term construction jobs created it allows businesses to manage inventory and move more across variety of suppliers and markets for their products and get employees reliable to work. congress should encourage the u.s. d.o.t. to implement the provisions of the fast act fully consistent with the legislative intent. an example of the d.o.t. regulatory action is the onerous and unanticipated requirement
regarding metropolitan planning organization, npo coordination. although state d.o.t. and they're already kpe-- added significant legal and administrative that will serve to flexible approaches to planning and programming being implemented by states today. along with the companion to repeal this rule, we appreciate your prompt action last week to bring this before the house rule. mr. chairman, thank you for conducting this important hearing to bring a greater awareness to the transportation needs for the nation and thank you for the opportunity to provide testimony. we will be happy to answer any questions the committee may have. thank you mr. patterson, mr.
thomas. thank you congresswoman johnson for your kind introduction, thank you for what you do in our region, you have been the. >> dart was created in 1983 when north texans voted to tax themselves 1% sales tax to create a transit agency that quite frankly they didn't know what was going to do at that point time. today is it's a transit agency operating north america's longest light rail system in the fourth largest metropolitan area in the united states. the 2.3 million residents of our
13 cities, a bus, light rail, commuter rail and transit services to give them a choice to give them -- to get them where they need to go every single day. i've been part of the public ceo since 2001. public transportation is changing the way american communities grow. transit oriented development along dart rail lines have generated more than $7 billion in economic impact from new or planned construction. in 2014, there were 43,000 jobs that resulting in nearly $3 billion in wages, salaries and benefits. now, our region customers insist on being mobile and being connected. our go pass mobile ticketing app was one of the first in the
industry to respond to that demand from the multi agency and fair payment system. so just over two years ago we began working with car and ride sharing companies like lyft, uber and zip car to provide more complete trip. in other words, first mile, last mile opportunities. now, we're using a federal sandbox or mobility on demand grant to make it easier for car and ride sharing customers to connect with transit through that app. our congressional delegation knows the federal funds will generate significant impact and higher quality of life in our region. we're pleased to enjoy consistent bipartisan support. we also p believe that we need to bring money to the table. voters to decide to dedicate a portion of sales tacks to help fund transit in their community. we use to level federal dollars
difference makers in north texas. you can imagine the disappointment we had when we heard the details of the administration's 2018 budget. dart's success is prompting calls for more service. we're advancing plans for second light rail line that we hope will be partially funded by core capacity grant. unfortunately it will foreclose the possibility so despite significant local investment, the project can be delayed without federal funding support. we need the capacity today. we're also bringing the cotton belt to the commuter rail line adding a new connection to dfw international airport. in response to local demand. we're able to accelerate that project by more than a decade. with the help. the rehabilitation in improvement financing loan through the federal railroad
administration. federal support has helped us complete the conversion to compress natural gas, in addition we're using federal fund to purchase seven electric buses that will be in operation next year. we've been aggressive and intentional in seeking creative ways to fund and deliver our projects. people in communities everywhere are working on solutions that meet their unique needs. they have the vision and the desire they need help with the funding. we believe there's a role for local communities to partner with the federal government to work together to support these visions with sustainable substantial and predictable
funding that the fast act provides. i cannot impress upon the committee strongly enough how important it is to keep the fast act intact and that commitment intact as we move forward. thank you very much, mr. chairman. and members of the committee, i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you mr. thomas, mayor reed. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman and members of the committee, i want to thank you for the opportunity to be here today i want to thank my congressman from georgia. i want to thank you for the kind introduction, i'm hopeful my wife was watching. it made me feel good about my myself. thank you congress johnson. i also want to thank the administration and this
committee for your help with regard to the crisis that we have faced with the collapse of the i-85 interstate in atlanta, georgia. the level of cooperation from our federal partners cannot have been stronger ri want today take this opportunity to express my personal gratitude. i come here today as the mayor of atlanta and the chairman of the transportation committee for the u.s. conference of mayors. the challenge that we're having in atlanta with interstate 85 and its collapse, really points out that an overall transportation system is needed now more than ever. in fact, since we've been facing this challenge with i-85, the use of marta, the ninth largest public transportation system in the united states has increased by more than 29% as we work through the challenge we're facing. so alternatives including resilient models we think will
be increasingly important in the 21st century. we're also investing in roads, which is an issue that i know is very important to members of this committee, as well. in 2015 the state of georgia passed hb 70 which raised the gas tax in order to fund nearly $1 billion annually for bridge and road repair. so we're working hard to keep our own house in order in addition to having a strong relationship with our federal partners. the city of atlanta is also moving full speed ahead and leading in our own way. last november they moved forward which will generate $2.6 billion for marta and this item passed with 71% voter support. we also had a second ballot
measure, a tsplost which will raise an estimated $300 million for infrastructure projects and it received 68% support. i think it's important to realize and in the metro area we're focusing on roads and partnership with the state, but we're also not leaving our transit responsibilities and capabilities behind. city residents are indeed voting with their pocketbooks and businesses are voting with their fees. in the last 42 months after we made these investments improving our road infrastructure and transit infrastructure, we have won 17 either regional or u.s. headquarters in the city of atlanta. we have had the largest net
increase of jobs into the city in more than four years -- 40 years after making these infrastructure investments. so i wanted to thank you. the last two years, atlanta taxpayers have focused increasingly on making sure that we fund our share of infrastructure and i think it's important to note that we ask this committee, as you develop future legislation to always as we try to attract grants and federal support. we're fixing roads and bridges, engineering more than 30 miles of complete street projects including bicycle lanes and
traffic light sin kro anization initiatives. as a result, the city of atlanta credit rating as rated by standard moodies and fitch. the point we're making is, is that when you invest in these critical infrastructure items, the market responds and the business community responds none of this would have been possible without your committee's support. mr. chairman that concludes my testimony. >> i will turn to the full committee. i'm sorry i'm late. i did make it to hear all your testimony. i want to thank you all. thank you for bringing your
expertise and thank you mayor reed for being here, again, outside of the ninth congressional district. i think you're probably my favorite mayor in america. sorry what happened down there on the bridge and 85. from what they're telling me, they'll rebuild that bridge in about 80 days. this is certainly a tragedy. thank goodness and god that nobody was killed. we ought to pay close attention to how fast this moves we need to learn for this as we did from the interstate 35 seven years. they built that bridge just shy of 400 days. i was late i spent an hour with the secretary chow. she came and briefed about ha members of congress. she talked about the infrastructure bill and how important it is to the president. of course, 40, 45 members were there asking a lot of great questions and there's a federal component to it, obviously,
we've got to figure the revenues out. public private partnerships are a tool in the tool box. it's not the tool box. we need to make it better. and then figuring out how toen unleash the private dlafollars. that's a $2 billion road project, $2 billion, 50 million federal money, the rest is california money and state, local, private sector dollars. they want to get about 500 or 600 million in a loan, they're dragging their feet. these are the kind of things we have to get out of the way of the states and locals to move these projects forward. i appreciate the three of you being here today. i will be remiss if i didn't introduce and welcome to the committee the dean of the secretary of transportation in the -- the dean of the secretary of transportation from oklahoma, gary ridly, dean ridly, it's good to see you.
just you being in the room we're learning through osmosis by you being here. i really always appreciate you being here. thank you chairman for having this hearing. and with that we'll open it up for questions we'll start with mr. bar let. >> thank you. as most of my colleagues know, i grew up working in the road construction business and that is experience showed me how difficult it can be for state and local governments to move forward with projects when they're uncertain about federal transportation spending. not only that experience, i was a former mayor, as well. i saw it on both ends. and that uncertainty trickles down to private industry. my family would not hire more workers or purchase more equipment without knowing what the future might hold, without knowing what kind of work would be out there and for how long. now, under the fast act, federal transportation funding runs out
in 2020. can any of you speak how this deadline effects your ability to move transportation projects forward? >> we do a very long range plan, 20-year plan that identifies and assumes in some regards and identifying all of our revenue and identifies all of our expenses. our projects are very specific. we make sure we know what we can build certainly, prohibits us from that certainty from that reliability of knowing what we can do in that 20-year plan and so it limits us as we look at the -- one of the fastest growing regions in the country,
we can't always predict out and solve some of the transportation challenges that we need to be doing now to make sure that those projects are in place at that point in time. so the long-range funding is certainly critical for transit as we move forward, thank you. >> as a follow on to my colleague's comments, one of the things that we could absolutely do right now, which would be to smooth out the process around continuing resolutions even under the fast act that we have right now. whenever we have that tension period when we're waiting for the continuing resolution process, it effects our ability to budget and our state d.o.t., for example, is in a position where it can't adequately prepare to get projects out waiting for that process. so that's something that's within the fast act structure right now that could help us push a great deal more dollars out to businesses to get folks working. >> thank you. >> one of the biggest complaints
i hear from people back home is that red tape in bureaucracy consistently hamper investment and innovation. the fast act called for greater environmental streamlining to get the projects to completion faster. can any of you speak to the success of this attempt. is it actually happening? or permits still slow to be developed by stake holder agencies? >> congressman, as i mentioned in my comments, i really appreciate what has happened with streamlining in the effects that came out on the fast act in that 21. we still have some challenges. there are rule-making processes that are still underway that we still don't have the rules in place, even after five years. but it's important that the rules come out right. we don't want them just to be expeditiously drawn up and be wrong.
so we haven't all of the effects of your efforts and -- we have felt all of the effects of your efforts and the rest of congress's to provide that streamlining, but we're hopeful that it does come does come to >> thank you. >> and just finally, there's no question, we need to find a sustainable funding source for infrastructure. we can't keep pulling rabbits out of our hat or one trick ponies or whatever we call them. i support a user fee. it's one way we can to that. what solutions do you have for a sustainable revenue stream that we can put in the highway trust fund? to help the highway trust fund? >> oklahoma is a member of what we call the western road users consortium, there is a group on the -- >> yes, sir. sorry. oklahoma is a member of the western road users consortium
and there is a group on the east coast that is looking at what you call user fees. some sort of way to fund transportation beyond the consumption tax that i mentioned in my oral testimony. we see that something has to be done and i appreciate the federal government and congress providing some grant opportunities for our western right to look at different funding mechanisms. i know that oregon has a test underway and california just entered into that similar kind of test model. so the states are looking at that and we hope that the federal government and congress looks at our success an our failures, to develop something for the future. >> last month we also have visited with representative
shuster and ranking member defazio to talk about their penny for progress proposal as a guide. we strongly believe that local governments and state governments that really put skin in the game ought to have a process where they have an advanced position in attracting federal capital. so how you all would structure that on a long-term basis, we would leave to the wisdom of this body. but when a local jurisdiction or states citizens raise their hands and say we're going to be first in on dealing with our own problems, we believe that that municipality or state should be in an advanced position and that significant points should be awarded to whatever pool of money you all ultimately make available for us to deal with some of these tough challenges. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman.
>> thank you, mr. chairman, i would be interested in knowing if any of your states have raised the state gas tax and what the effect -- what public opinion, what the effect on public opinion was and what do you think would with the effect of raising the federal gas tax now that some state gas taxes have been raised. if you have both gas taxes. i'm interested what you have to say about that? >> yes, ma'am, texas has not raised their gas tax since 1992. so it's much the same case. but when you watch gas prices every day swing, ten, 15 cents a gallon, i'm not sure how much a penny, penny and a half, two pennies would be noticed. certainly conversations about
gas tax and vehicle miles traveled there are a lot of suggestions being made. we recognize as a state that something needs to be done but much like what's happening across the country, the -- a lot of conversation we just haven't made that decision yet. >> mr. patterson and mayor reed? >> oklahoma has not raised our gas tax since 1987. the governor has proposed to increase our fuel tax. it's estimated that by june we will have the lowest fuel tax in the country at 14 cents for diesel -- >> how is that work out for you? >> it's not working too well. so the govern has made that proposal to increase it to 24 cent for diesel and gasoline and it's going through the legislative process at this point.
>> yes, ma'am. our governor in 2015, a republican governor with almost near constitutional majorities in our house and in our senate in georgia with republican majorities in both raised the gas tax and raised $1 billion as a result of that. in the city of atlanta we passed t 2.6 billion for the largest transit system in our history and we had a funding measure that passed with 68% local support funding more than $300 million in infrastructure. a year prior to that we had a local referendum for a $250 million infrastructure bond. it passed with more than 80% support. so my state, i'm from the state of georgia. we have a very conservative state. and all of these measures have been passed with broad
majorities. legislative majorities in the general assembly for 1 billion in road use and the other items involving our transit system and infrastructure funds have been done within the city of atlanta. it's a nice mix of urban and rural showing that whether you are focused on rural folks or urban folks, people get that we need significant infrastructure investment. >> conservative or republican no one has found a way to build roads and bridges and transit systems without money. and i'm interested in the -- in what the states have done. because almost half the states have taken the initiative, seeing that the federal government is stuck and has been stuck for a generation, one more question. i'd like to -- i got into the f.a.s.t. act, actually. it was the idea of a number of
us funds for alternatives. we don't just criticize the fact that congress won't -- or your states with those two states, for that matter, continue to -- continue to ignore the need for funds. we look for alternative funds and note that some states have found alternative ways -- are experimenting. there is $10 million in the f.a.s.t. act for such experimentation. looking at the notions to come forward recently about private investment as a way to fund roads and the investors getting back their investment through -- i suppose fares or tolls or the rest -- i'd be interested in
knowing whether you think relying more heavily on private investment would -- would help us in fact hasten the work that needs to be done on our roads, bridges, and infrastructure? >> in oklahoma, and in many states, we have seen a reliance more on private investors. in oklahoma, we have our turnpike authority, which was created back in the late '40s to develop a high speed transit system between oklahoma city and tulsa. it has since then expanded on and it is a tolling authority but the private investors are the moms and pops around the country that buy bonds. so we can't forget that that is a private investing opportunity.
>> could you build most of the roads using tolls? would the public tolerate that? >> no, ma'am, we can't and we realize that. we understand that at this point many states are relying on some sort of tolling to make up the difference between adequate funding at both the state and federal level. >> could i get answers, too, from the other two witnesses, please? >> congresswoman, i think it depends -- as long as you keep your focus on project models versus tax credit miles. i think the conversation has to be around real projects. probably the most successful private/public partnership we have is the atlanta belt line where we reclaimed 22 miles of old abandoned railroads and now the $400 million in public
support has triggered $3.8 billion in private capital attracted to renovating that entire corridor and creating 1200 acres of green space. that is a project model where everybody knows the focus is going to be and everybody is tracking the jobs that are being created. the concern that we're experiencing is moving to a tax credit model for the financial services community or fie finan financeers. the most striking and successful public/private partnerships have been project specific with very borrowed community buy in. >> from a transit industry perspective it's a bilittle bit different. p 3s are a great opportunity, perhaps as long as you understand going into it that money is going to cost you more than what you could typically
borrow other places. there are levels of public/private partnerships. in one case with we work with uber and lyft. on the other hand when we do a design build project that is a public/private partnership with no funding or financing involved. when you get to the funding/financing level, and of course the associated risk sharing opportunities, those cost more money. the private sector is going to expect higher interest rate on the money they put into a project than what we can typically get through the federal funds or even a loan. >> thank you very much. mr. davis, five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you to the witnesses. mayor reed. sorry about the braves on opening day.
not a -- easy thing especially after the falcons. >> i appreciate all the goodwill will can get. >> we don't want to remind you of bad things happening to atlanta sports. but as a brave's fan myself it's good to have you hear. i want to ask about funds that is suballocated to localities, it's the most flexible trmgs funding to states. and i was pleased that the f.a.s.t. act took important steps to increase stbg allocations closer to traditional levels. mayor, can you explain to the committee the importance to increase those funds to address your transportation and infrastructure problems? >> congressman david, i think
they are absolutely vital and they will encourage local municipalities to deal with our infrastructure challenges. the one point that i would make here is one that i've already made is that i do believe that local governments that really step up and start solving these problems on their own should have a dynamic, competitive advantage, and that is not in my opinion, enough of the consideration that's a part of this process. but i believe that the steps that we're already taking have been vital. but i do believe that our federal partners could encourage us to do more on our own in order to be rewarded for that good behavior. >> well, i appreciate hearing that. and also i'm pleased, you know, that the f.a.s.t. act does gradually increase the local control by increasing the subsal
cation for stbg. but i would have liked a larger increase. and while we were unsuccessful, i still believe we should look at ways to increase the local control and flexibility of these transportation dollars. do you have any suggestions additionally to what you responded to my previous question with that congress could take to further promote local control and help communities better address your priorities? >> i think holding up national models that congress has confidence in for other governments to see would be very helpful. in other words, having some form playing a clearinghouse function where the answer is not always additional money or capital but the answer may be these are
governments taking on these challenges and handling them well from a financing standpoint and an execution standpoint. because everybody is going to come here and ask for more money but if you are a local leader or a mayor, you have an end date. and to the extent that a body like yours held projects out as models after you verified them and prepared to put your stamp of approval on it, i think that it would make it much easier to scale these projects around the country in communities large and small. >> that's great advice. and do you have any projects that you might want to mention here to the committee that are working well as maybe public/private partnerships regarding infrastructure improvements in atlanta? >> absolutely. i believe the atlanta belt line is as successful as anywhere in
the country. if you have been to new york and enjoyed the high line. the belt line would be the equivalent of extending that to westchester county. it's $3.8 million in private money. it connects 45 neighborhoods that used to be separated by freeways. it's caused the city to connect just socially in a way it had never connected before. that would be one example. another example would be the atlanta streetcar where we had $98 million in public investment and $2.5 billion in new construction activity within a five minute walk of that line. >> i'm not as familiar with the first project you mentioned. how are you paying back the private portion as a return on investment? what method? >> it's through the use of tax credits for investments. so for example, when you invest
in the atlanta belt line, the public went in and did all of the spending that it did to clean and prepare. and the private sector came in after the public sector went in and identified the line. so for example, there was a 1 million square foot building that had been boarded up and delap dated and it has attracted a quarter million dollars investment that used to be owned by my government. i sold it to the private sector. the private sector came in and invested a quarter of a billion dollars. it's built on the belt line and 1.4 million people are using the atlanta belt line. >> thank you very much for your responses. >> thank you for the question. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. patterson, your written
testimony suggests that the f.a.s.t. act rises faster for -- this committee has stood by the 80/20 highway trust fund split for decades. does -- support this 80/20 split as we did in the f.a.s.t. act? >> we do. we believe -- >> the mike please? >> we do believe that the 80/20 split is appropriate and should be maintained. >> thank you. and also your testimony makes a compelling argument that direct funding is essential for highway and bridge projects. you say that the funding is helpful but will not preplace real dollars. can you explain why they won't
generate significant return on investment? >> when you typically look at a transportation project across this country, when you're talking about rural or urban situations, there is no opportunity in most cases to toll that facility. additionally, there's no economic -- economic way to capture the dollars that are generated along a route. an example in oklahoma, we have seen where a small town in southern oklahoma, they grew out and annexed out to what we call interstate 35. they did that because of the economic development the interstate provided to them. but we could not -- we as the d.o.t. can't capture that. but there was benefit to the
city through sales tax. >> thank you. i have one more question for you, sir. and i'll move on. earlier this year, speaker paul ryan suggested that an infrastructure package should consist of 98% private funding. specifically the speaker said there should be a 40 to 1 ratio in a federal infrastructure package. mr. patterson your testimony discusses the importance of direct funding. do you believe that an infrastructure package that relies on 98% private funding can adequately address the needs of oklahoma and other states? >> i don't understand how you get to that perspective. it's something that i would have to learn more about. >> the perspective is basically you have some sort of tax credits with federal funding that amounts to 2% and the other 98% comes in from private p3s or
something. you don't think that works? >> i don't think it works in oklahoma. >> but you do think it works elsewhere? >> i can't speak for the other states but i would imagine not. thank you. mr. thomas, do you agree that public/private partnerships, state infrastructure banks and local bonding initiatives are helpful but cannot replace real direct dollars. >> they give us tools in the tool box but it needs to be a complete tool box otherwise you can't get the project done. >> and it's incomplete without the federal funding. >> yes. >> mayor reed do you believe that private investors will be able to fund the vast majority of highway and transit projects or will they require federal and state funds to complete? >> i don't think the private market will do that because they will cherry pick projects which
will leave essential projects -- the answer is i don't believe -- i believe that the public/private partnership is important but it will not replace the need for the federal partners to bear the lion's share of the load because the incentive to do a private deal is to make a profit for the private sector. >> in summary for all three witnesses the proposal that we have heard, the administration has not made a formal proposal but the proposal we have heard may be coming from the administration that they will do, i think, an 82% tax credit, again, for private partnerships for p -- for private partnerships and that will fund the trillion dollars in infrastructure. do any of the three of you believe that would work to fund a trillion dollars in infrastructure if the only
federal money basically is an 82% tax credit? >> i do not -- i believe you have to have a project model, not a tax credit model. >> what do you mean by a project mod snell. >> specific projects that you're identifying that the federal government is investing into in order to create jobs. as opposed to a tax credit model. >> it has to be a federal investment? >> in addition to a state and local investment. >> mr. thomas and mr. patterson? >> i agree with the mayor, the tax credits wouldn't do it all by themselves. >> i agree with the other two. >> thank you. so many summary -- all our witnesses think the proposal that i outlined which is what you heard would be the administration's proposal would not generate a trillion dollars from infrastructure investment
or anything near it? is that correct? >> yes. >> thank you very much. my time is well expired. and thank you for indulging us in the time. >> mr. ferguson, five minutes. >> mayor reed, right over here. glad to have a fellow georgian in and thank you for taking your time. i know the new mantra is if i can get there. it's been tough. but want to thank you on behalf of the rest of the state for your diligence and working of course with the governor to help mitigate what is a very, very difficult situation for not only atlanta but the southeast and i think it goes to show just how important transportation is, the one break down in the system can have ripple effects throughout an entire region. can you speak briefly to the cooperation needed between local, state, and federal
officials and most importantly, on the planning process as it relates to transportation projects and also, a little feed back on how the response was from the federal department of transportation with the emergency on i-85. >> thank you, congressman. and your accent was music to my ears. i felt right at home when you said hello. here's what i think. i think that the most important fact has been that the governor and i had a strong working relationship. and so whether it when the state of georgia was competing for tifia funding or we were competing for a number of tiger grants we've always partners. so when you have an emergency like we had regarding the bridge collapse on i-85 if you work together all of the time in a cooperative fashion, you just get through this challenge the way that you will get through
others. the bulk of the credit, congressman, belongs to our first responders. in a tragic event, we had no loss of life. and i think the credit to that goes to our firefighters and our poli police officers and our state patrol officers. they coordinated and shut down the highway expeditiously. and then we coordinated in deploying resources which included foam fire trucks from hartsfield jackson airport which were essential in putting the fire out. our federal partners have been exemplary. they have worked in the best tradition of the federal, state, and local relationship. and i have been in multiple meetings because we had -- it was a state capital when this crisis occurred and we instantly
began working together. and i think that's why we're going to get the highway up and operational as soon as we possibly can. and i also think that that's why you haven't seen us playing typical political games of blames personship. >> mr. johnson? >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman for this hearing. it has been one that has brought a great deal of frustration to me as i sit here and look at that quotation up there on the wall, the section of the constitution article 1, section 8 speaks to the federal government's responsibility to post offices and roads.
we have privatized the post offices and i don't know what we're getting from it but i just don't see how we can privatize transportation. nevertheless, i'm one of these people that will try to find a way to work with any philosophy that i can to try to get a job done. but this is a tough approach. to attempting to address the essential transportation problems in our country. so i'm going the ask mr. thomas, how detrimental will these cuts be or if they'll be detrimental to the city of dallas, to d.a.r.t. and cities across the country if the cig programs are cut? we have a lot of plans to accommodate the needs in the
area as i'm sure every major city does. but when you read the president's budget, what is your reaction? how -- where do we go from here? >> congressman right now we have three projects that are well into the process in the dallas area alone. two are core capacity projects and one is a small starts project. one is a second alignment through downtown. again when people think of transit in the united states they don't always think about dallas, texas. but we've got the longest light rail system in north america. they all come through a single corridor in downtown right now. if anything happens in that corridor, an accident, a fire. we had a fire a few years ago. when the firemen lay the hoses across the tracks they don't want the trains to run across those hoses and we understand and appreciate that.
so we desperately need that second alignment through downtown dallas. we are proposing a 50/50 split from local funds with a 50% match from the federal government on core capacity. the other project is an extension of our older platforms which would allow us to -- on 28 platforms to extend those 100 feet which gives us 30% capacity increase on those two lines, the red line and blue line, looking for a 50/50 split. texdot has come to the table with half of that. so we're looking at the core capacity program for the other half. the third project is an extension of the streetcar project. the streetcar program that we opened is unique because it uses american-made streetcars. streetcars that actually are
dual mode. they operate with or without an overhead wire. we intend to increase that in the small starts program. we are well into the process, the environmental process, the working with the community, making sure we know where these projects should go, what the alignments are, building the support locally. all of those go away. they go away. >> now, we still are having tremendous growth to the area. so if they go away -- where do we go from there? >> that's -- a good question, congressman. you know, i think as we look at, certainly, in our region but across the united states, the impact of the capital investment grants has been important. it's been critical, as transit
agencies have continued to provide choices for people in their communities to be able to get where they need to go, whether it's to the doctor, to the grocery store and most importantly to jobs, well over 80% of the people that are riding public transportation are going to their jobs. so it's imperative that we continue to look for and continue to support the f.a.s.t. act. it's been incredibly success toll this point. i think it's imperative that we continue to support that through 2020 at least. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman and panelists for joining us today. mayor reed, i'll start with you, first of all, thank you for being here. and i wish the best to the braves so long as they don't have any cross interest with the
giants. former national league west mates. now it's all changed. we have some commonality with our emergency situations here with -- you with that bridge and i-85 here. and i still harken back to when things went really well after the northridge earthquake in california way back in '94 where it was projected it might be a year, year and a half having one of the largest freeways in the country knocked out, due to a can do attitude and putting aside red tape they were able to get that back up within just a few months and saved much, much loss and economic activity and inconvenience to the people in southern california there. so i hope that that is going well and you are getting all the cooperation in the world from the federal government and others so see your bridge through. and an original timetable from
what i saw yesterday moved up from the fall or winter to maybe june. i hope it's moving fast for you. we have an immediate need in our own backyard in northern california where you may have seen the story of the oroville dam and the spillway problem we had here in february that resulted partly as a precaution, an evacuation of nearly 200,000 people downstream of that. nothing really bad ended up happening but the o'possibly because of the evocatirosion mat happen because of the safety requirements. do you -- do you feel that the federal transportation infrastructure programs support the locals in increasing public safety and being prepared as
much as they need to be for emerging situations, i'm talking about my backyard or what you face with the loss of that bring in your area? is the federal government doing a good enough job supporting the local levels in that safety aspect is this -- specifying emergency situations where you need quick action? >> my sense is yes. i chair a group that is our local disaster planning entity in metropolitan atlanta. and i think that when it comes to emergency response, everything that i have seen shows a high level of professionalism and a high level of coordination. and so that is an aspect of the government that i feel very good about. i do believe that we're all going to have to change at the
local level, really, to a posture of being resilient because without moving in to a debate about climate, weather patterns and emergency situations are coming with increasing frequency. and so i think that this is a conversation we're going to have to start having more aggressively with our federal partners, the things you experience in northern california really have a great deal to do with being on a permanent resilient footing and as i sit here testifying right now we are experiencing unusually bad weather in the city of atlanta and have been. so what's happening, local governments are having to be on a -- on an almost permanent footing of responding to crises of one kind or another
frequently, weather-related crisis. >> do you think greater weight should be given to improved flexibility? >> no question about it. flexibility is going to be the -- is going to be either the order of the day or it's going to be thrust upon us by circumstance. so i think it's a good i approach to have flexibility built into the relationship as opposed to good people have to make it up at the last minute. >> thank you. and my experience at your airport has always been very good as i take the red eye from the coast and end up there at 6:00 a.m. just the line at pop eyes is always too long. >> that's the busiest popeye's chicken in the world. >> thank you, sir. i yield back.
>> thank you, mr. chair. mr. thomas, i have a question in regard to capital investment grants. the trump administration state budget calls for the elimination of the capital investment starts. do you think it makes fiscal sense to eliminate an infrastructure program that has 55 projects from across the country and the planning potentially setting back billions of dollars of infrastructure investment? >> there's certainly across the united states, congressman, there's been a lot of work done in preparation of these projects. a lot of the projects, as they are in dallas, have gone through community meetings, coordination efforts. and in our case we are bringing a significant amount of money to
the table, as we always have and as we'll continue to the in our pan financial plan. people have looked at the f.a.s.t. act as -- although it only goes to 2020 and we understand there are channels beyond that we are appreciative of the long term bill. we would like for it to stay intact and continue to move forward through 2020 so these agencies that anticipated that funding can go ahead and get these projects completed and provide those choices to people. >> but does it make fiscal sense to eliminate them? >> certainly in d.a.r.t.'s case, no, ma'am, it does not. we're bringing money to the table. they're getting 50 cents to the dollar on a project. it makes sense to continue do that. >> another question i have has to do with positive train
control. the f.a.s.t. act provided $199 million guaranteed for fiscal year 2017 to help commuter railroads implement ptc. the funding was not available under the continuing resolution. this critical safety funding will lapse if the cr is extended for the remainder of this fiscal year. can you elaborate why this is important to your agencies? >> certainly, the transit industry is hopeful that they will complete the fy '17 budget so that $199 million of grant funding can be allocated to the projects tro projects throughout the country. we have a 2018 deadline to put that transit system in place. that comes on top of operating and maintaining our system every day. so it's imperative that --
>> it's already been extended once. >> yes. so it's imperative to meet the 2018 deadline so we can get that safety project complete. >> question for mr. patterson and mr. reed. i have been working on an amendment to faa reauthorization to prohibit faa from impacting local and state sales tax. faa has required excise tax to be spent on airport for airport intrastrump but it has not interpreted it to affect general sales tax which tax aviation fuel as well as other products. now they are changing the -- to count how much is collected by the general sales tax and
siphoning the money back to the airport. when state and local governments are being told how to spend their own tax dollars by the faa, it will impact local transportation projects since most sales tax provide for local transportation funding. the state of georgia is one of the most impacted regions in the country with the new rule. it will take millions of dollars out of local control. are you aware of the issue and do you have concerns with the new faa rule should congress fix and return 30 years of precedence that allows the governments to spend their tax revenue as they see fit? >> i don't have any knowledge of -- i have knowledge but i can't comment on that. i think the mayor would be better suited for this answer. >> congresswoman, i'm on your side. and i think i could have said it better than you just said it.
>> it's an infringe judgment upon the local control. thank you, mr. chair. yield back. >> mr. smucker? >> thank you. as a business owner, i owned a construction company for 25 years prior to serving in the state legislature. i understand the importance of a good highway and bridge infrastructure to move goods and employees to job sites and the importance of infrastructure to our economy, essentially. and then when serving in the state legislature, we were one of the states that would have passed a bill that provided for additional sustainable funding for our highway and bridge system and in our case it was a
wholesale gas tax that had a cap on it, tied to the price of gas. we essentially lifted the cap. but it generated billions of dollars of additional funding for mostly for maintenance and repair of the current system. in some cases adding capacity. but we had the highest number of structurally deficient bridges in the country at the time. but the reason i bring that up and mayor reed, maybe this question will be directed to you. it was really important for us -- let me back up. it was a -- republican legislature. and a republican governor and i mention that because you mentioned that in georgia. but also mention it because at the same time that we were able to gather support for that, we were looking at all aspects of our budget and in fact we really
believe we needed to focus on the core functions of the government. we have to do it at that level. but it's important to -- and critically important for the economy. a lot of hearings and a lot of discuss with the public to gain that support that was required to pass that. and i think that's something we will need to do here. and i support finding a way nor sustainable funding. i think the point was brought up earlier, it's so important to not only the states and local municipalities to have that dependable and sustainable source of funding but to all the businesses that rely on this, it's critical for efficient delivery to know we can plan ahead. so, mayor, i guess, to question
to you, can you give us some insight? i think if i understood your testimony correctly, while you were there you passed a 1% sales tax that went to infrastructure and you said georgia was doing that at the same time. what can we learn from that in terms of building the public support for investment in our infrastructure? >> congressman, i think that what we can learn is that the public is ahead of us. and i think that when we talk plainly and explain what the challenges are, the public will come on board as long as they believe that we're going to make a good use of their funds. i imagine you experienced that in pennsylvania. in georgia, our state is one of eight states in america with a aaa credit rating from all three rating agencies. one of the reasons is tight fiscal management but also the
decision that we made around transportation. we've grown to be the tenth largest state in the union. the atlanta metropolitan region is the ninth largest in the region with a gdp of $335 billion. and we've gone from a really low credit rating to aa plus. so i think the argument that you make and we've had an absolute jobs boom. and what we're all concerned about is who is going to win the war for talent. and i think that folks like you and i have to just get out and make the case. i thought it was really important that a republican governor, republican house and republican senate passed the billion dollars that they passed. our folks were stuck in traffic like you all. and on the transit side we are doing the biggest transit expansion in the history of our system and it will be one of the
seven largest in america but we the did it with 71% voter support at the ballot. >> i was hoping to get input from the others as well. but i'm out of time. >> i apologize. >> thank you. >> mr. johnson? >> thank you, mr. chairman. mayor reed, you served in the georgia legislature for ten years, both in the house and senate. and so you know how conservative and fiscally restrained the environment is among our legislative friends in georgia. but, yet, back in 2015, georgia increased its gas tax from 7.5 cents to 26 cents. and increased the diesel tax to 29 cents and indexed it so every
year it's adjusted in accordance with the consumer price index. can you comment about the conditions that existed in georgia that led to the passage of that gas tax increase? and also, what political fallout, if any, occurred as a result of passage? and then the benefits from passing that increase? >> thank you for the question, congressman. i think the bottom line is, is that if you want to lose an election in georgia you would be the person to lose the state's aaa credit rating. and i think that everybody acknowledged -- everybody was experiencing the same thing. we were all sitting in traffic. we had tried to pass a regional bill. you remember that, the governor and i worked to pass a regional
transportation bill that was soundly rejected by the voters at the ballot. we have among the worst traffic in the united states. it was really starting to impact our ability to attract jobs and business as we were trying to fight our way out of the recession. every meeting that the governor and i went to when we were recruiting businesses they said you got to do something about the traffic. and so i think it was a matter of having the right leader at the right time. he made the decision to move a bill through the georgia general assembly and i'm comfortable saying that 95% of the people who voted in favor of the $1 billion tax increase were all re-elected. i'd be comfortable saying that 98% were re-elected at the ballot. the risks were minimal but we did a very good job of explaining the need and the city
took the leadership on expanding transit within the city of atlanta. >> i want to ask you about that because atlanta has seen a number of fortune 500 and fortune 100 companies moving into atlanta as a result of our investment in transit. can you elaborate on what we've done? >> sure, congressman. we have the third largest concentration of fortune 500 businesses in the united states of america. and i think what the business community is doing is de-politicizing transit. so as opposed to it being a democrat/republican issue when state farm cited 8,000 job outside of atlanta in dunwoody they wanted it by a marta stop. when pulte group homes moved to atlanta, the second biggest home building in america, they wanted it by a marta stop.
the business community and millennials want to be near transit. so it's lifting the transit conversation out of urban/rural politics because everybody wants terrific jobs and we have a generation of folks unlike my generation who are not interested in driving automobiles. if you want to be first to the future you're going to have to be in the transit business. so republicans and democrats have gotten in line and i would suspect that mr. thomas sees the same thing. when you put down transit and infrastructure, business comes to it because it's a permanent investment. and when you put it to voters, these items pass overwhelmingly. so i think it's really about being first to the future, congressman. and you just got to decide whether you want well-paying jobs for your people or not. and now because of the business
communities insistence on transit and how well transit investments perform in terms of the economy that is built around it, it's helping us get out of this old argument. >> yeah, mr. thomas, have you experienced the same thing in dallas? >> absolutely. and as in atlanta we have a state farm development and they looked for a rail station to be close to. and the same developer in the development around that particular station is phenomenal. 28 new restaurants, thousands of new residences. millions of square feet of office space that occur around that particular station. so the developers certainly understand the advantage of that transportation infrastructure. they're looking at our communities understand it. the debate in north texas is where our resources, where the federal resources end up going
because they know that when we go in and build that infrastructure, there's going to be development, there's going to be job opportunities. there are going to be the benefit to the people not only from a transportation perspective but also the ancillary benefits that happen around those stations. >> thank you, i'm out of time. i yield back. >> mr. shuster. >> once again i want to thank you and welcome you to the committee. i'm going to yield my time to mr. lamalfa. doug, as we call him here. my time because he has more questions he would like to ask. >> much appreciated, mr. chairman. i appreciate the discussion with the panel and mr. mayor, you talk about the collaborative process you had in georgia there, governor, with your city and others the aaa credit rating. you're doing things the right
way. you are talk to people and they express what they want to happen. in california where we don't have a good credit rating the legislature in really more -- well, total control terms, i'll leave it at that, are forcing through at this moment, at this week, a combined gas tax and car tax which the people are against especially in terms -- i'm going the direct a question to mr. patterson in a moment -- we have a high-speed rail issue in california that has shown to be $55 billion short of funding. we don't know where it's going to come from. and we have crumbling bridges and roads that the people are going to be forced to pay a higher tax on their automobile registration and their gasoline that's going to mean to a two-car middle income family around $500 a year they don't get to spend on education or whatever.
for crumbling roads and bridges. instead they are seeing billions spent on high-speed rail at a point in the state that no one seems to want it. and the audacity in this funding that would come from this new tax there is not upgrades for additional lanes or additional capacity for roads an bridges. so i think what's going on out there is not a collaborative process and is tone deaf to the middle income families. i would like to see a much more streamlined process to get dollars to projects. so for mr. patterson, again, in my own county we have state highway 70 that could have been -- there are projects that could have been done in the future faster and less costly. if the environmental review process didn't have to take nearly as long for issues
vurmtvurm environmentally well known. we add a lane on the next segment that you're going to have issues that are already well known on previous studies in the same type of terrain. what can we do to assist local agencies without having to be held hostage for these habitat tradeoffs for more efficient transportation projects whether rebuilding of older infrastructure or the additional capacity that we all want and need as taxpayers? >> thank you, congressman. one of the things that this congress did was provide for a better process when we're talking about adding in your example adding lanes to -- or adding additional capacity to already identified transportation corridors and the
intent of congress at the time was to go from fence to fence. and that would be because it's already cleared as a transportation corridor. some of the guidelines that we have received from the federal highway administration don't allow fence to fence. and so it's just pavement edge to pavement edge. so we're having to work through some of those issues with the usdot and their rule making process. and i know the director in california is working very hard on that issue as well as many other of my colleagues from around the country. >> thank you for that. i'd like to look more into that fence to fence provision you're talking about there. but i'll yield back the rest of my time. please follow up with my office if you get a chance. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
we heard earlier chairman shuster mention about 45 members had a meeting with secretary chou. i suggest we invite her to meet with this committee so we can have a collaborative effort and be bipartisan in our effort to put forward transportation policy, maybe then they wouldn't have the problems they had with the health care bill if you are all engaged from the beginning. i would just make that suggestion. also i'd like to acknowledge mr. davis from illinois. he brought out our bill that we worked together on and became an amendment to the f.a.s.t. act where we send more money to local government as opposed to the state for it to be distributed. i think we need to continue down that path because too often the politics in the state capital around the d.o.t. entities play a bigger part than good policy decisions. so the more we can send money to the local government, the
better. i'd like to turn my attention a little bit to another provision in the f.a.s.t. act that i worked on and that was to have complete streets planning put into the bill. this is the first time this bill. this is the first time this has ever been down in a federal transportation program and i was glad to see that in my district in las vegas. we just had an increase in pedestrian deaths so having a policy that begins with the planning through the construction through the operation of transportation, it includes all user, i think is very beneficial. i know a number of states and local governments are incorporating that kind of safe streets planning and i would like to ask you, mayor reed, under your leadership, i know laentz kind of one of the stars in this area. could you comment on the benefits of it, how it's working, some suggests or other places to follow? >> i think that it has worked well and i think that it's
connecting communities and contributing to a sense of community that people that created and developed the concept had in mind. it is what we thought it is when well executed. so it is an approach that we're taking, it is a part of the reason that we had such success at the ballot when we went to voters for the four basis points for.4 of a penny. and it offer gives a significant boost to businesses that are on cleat streets corridors. i think that the complete street approach is really bearing good fruit and it is what we thought it was and temperature needs to be pushed at every opportunity if you want your city or your community to be a leading one because it's something people want when they're looking for a place to make a permanent home.
>> i believe it's not just for safety but quality of life. you see more people on bicycles now, more people walking, all kinds of uses besides just cars and bus dollars. mr. patterson, would you talk about what some of the states are doing as they include this in their planning. >> i know several states are working on complete streets. in oklahoma we're partnering with the city of oklahoma city for a new downtown boulevard that is -- includes bike lanes, walk -- pedestrian paths, as well as a new driving lane. it is where i-40 use god through downtown oklahoma city and we relocated i-40 to the south of downtown and we're putting in a boulevard that has the complete streets concept to it. >> if you want to talk about business, we're seeing in downtown las vegas where they now have rent-a-bikes and that's part of that quality of living i
was talking about. would you like to comment on how it relates to businesses and improves that aspect of things? anybody? >> well, i can tell you in oklahoma city we have the rent-a-bike program going n there and it's growing exnin chally. we believe once the new boulevard is in place it will explode much like you see here in washington, d.c. >> mayor. >> our program has been highly popular and we're getting ready to expand it by 400%. >> congressman, i think the benefit and you certainly are aware is how all of the different modes of transportation work together in a single corridor whether it be buses, bikes, pedestrians, automobiles, and that planning effort is what makes all that happen. and so often the planning effort is skipped and they're bypassed, so thank you very much for
making sure that's been included in the fast act. >> thank you. yield back. >> mr. lowenthal. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i join others in thanking our witnesses for joining us and educating us today. i'd like to raise an issue that's near and dear to my heart and extremely important to my district, which is the 47 congressional district which starts off with the port of long beach, which is the second largest port in the united states. and that is freight funding, the funding for the movement of freight. as you know and i've mentioned the fast act included dedicated freight funding programs for the first time. this included competitive grant program dubbed fast lane by the -- by dot.
mr. mayor reed, you've talked about the importance to your state and the city of economic development at the port of savannah which received a $44 million grant for multimodal connectors, that's what you've talked about. mr. patterson your department was granted $62 million last year for you. s. 69, u.s. 75 for road rail grade separations. so you're organization also put out a report with the american association of port authorities that showed the growing demand for multimodal projects. the report stated that in an absolute minute numb ne-- minim for multi-million projects
though the fast act only has a total of $1.1 million and that's over five years. the question i have foreign policy you is do you agree that there's a greater need for funding of multimodal projects? >> congressman, absolutely. one of the things that -- that we know is that as we have looked at the federal program over the years, since the completion of the interstate highway system, we really don't have a goal, a something to hang our hat on, if you will. we were hoping and we believe that this freight program is the next goal. it is imperative that we be able to move freight across this country by rail, water -- >> i think you're doing great, i
just want to ask because i have one more follow-up question and that's what i wanted. do you have anything to add, mayor reed? >> absolutely. >> okay. now, i have a proposal that i first introduced in the 114th, congress will be doing again, that puts a user fee, which is paid for by the owners of the goods on the cost of shipping goods by road or rail in the united states to directly fund freight infrastructure pot so a user fee paid by the owners of the goods to directly fund freight infrastructure. would you -- maybe not this one, but would you support a similar proposal for such as a user fee by the owners of goods to pay for the infra -- for freight infra struck stur? several years ago a group of us got together and we wfr looking at ways to fund transportation in the future.
congressman, that's exactly one of the things that we had come up with was an additional surcharge, a user fee, however you would want to label it for freight movements and dedicated to a freight system. >> so it has to be dedicated, it would be sustainable paid by the users, it would be in a dedicated funding stream to be used just for freight infrastructure. would you support that, mayor reed? >> i don't know. i'd have to have the full proposal to consider it. >> okay. we're just talking about not so much a specific proposal but just the concept that those who use the system would pay for the improvements in the system, dedicated in some way to get both back to, you know, an appropriate way of distributing those funds. >> yes. >> thank you. and i yield back. >> mr. lipinski. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to thank all of our witnesses for being here today.
as we talk about the fast act, which i want to thank all the members of this committee on both sides, the chairman subcommittee, chairman of the full committee mr. schuster, our ranking member norton and defazio, we all work to -- well together in putting -- getting the fast act together and moved. i'm hopeful that we can do the same thing on a new, big trillion dollar or more than trillion dollar infrastructure plan. things that have been talked about by the last few people, members who have spoken about complete streets, about transit, think it's important that thoerz important to be included in a new infrastructure package. freight movement i think that's also very critical do. i want to ask a question about something that i don't think
anyone has yet asked about in this -- at this hearing. about vehicle infrastructure vti technology and getting that into our infrastructure. so not only vtv, vehicle to vehicle, but vti technology is vital for maximizing the benefits of autonomous and connected vehicles. benefits such as great safety improvements, less congestion on our roads and also increasing the efficiency of our vehicles. so we really need to find creative ways to incentivize investment in vehicle and infrastructure technology. we need to make target investments for capital if we're going to be doing this big
infrastructure package. the fast act ensured that vti would remain eligible for funding but we also need to consider dig once policies that promotes advanced systems that enable vti during construction so we're not going back and doing it all over again. i've asked witnessesa at previous hearings about the state of local -- about state and local investments in this technology and some have said that they've been hesitant to make investment because of the lack of industry standards and federal guidance. in january, fhwa released new vti guidance document that can help transportation agencies understand the regional impacts of vti deployment and emerging technologies and leverage federal aid funds to deploy them. i'd just like to ask mr. patterson and reed if you could discuss your experience with cti technology and whether
or not there's sufficient federal guidance to promote investment and what more can be done so we make sure that we do prepare the infrastructure for this. mr. patterson, you want to start. >> thank you, congressman. i think -- i think from an overall perspective and given the advances in technology, it's been good that the states have taken a slow, methodical approach to integrating cti into the system. when you look at technology doubles every year and you look back five years ago when we really got into the discussion about v2rirks, it's changed. the i'd answer was very helpful. we had several of our members who were very involved in leading the foelg technology. i can tell new oklahoma, we are
still learning, we're not as far advanced as some other states are in the discussion, but it is something that we are beginning to understand and embrace. and it was that guidance and it is the support of arkansas ash members that gets us to that point. >> mayor reed, anything to add? >> we are develop a smart corridor along north avenue near georgia tech and by the coca-cola company that will be really testing all of these technologies at once. so much like my colleague, we're in the very early stages of it. candidly, we have been put a great deal more energy in to self-driven vehicle technology and we have been slower on v2i. >> is there anything the federal government can do to help speed things along to make it easier for states and local alts --
local ats to do this. >> i think rules from the road from federal experts could shorten the learning curve for municipalities, because that's really the challenge for us when these new kinds of technologies and relationships occur, we have to come up to speed on that and we have to put in a good amount of person power for that. so knowing where the federal government is going in the future in that regard would send an important signal to where we should be going. >> i think that collaboration and cooperation is going to be very important as the mayor said, as we begin to develop our system in oklahoma and as other states expand their v 2 i capabilities. this is a turning point for all
of transportation. it's almost extensive going from the horse and buggy to the model "t." so it is something that we're very interested in and our customers, the public, is going to demand that kind of reaction from us. >> thank you. yield back. >> any other further questions? seeing none, i'd like to obviously thank our witnesses for your testimony today and your contribution to today's discussion it's obviously been very informative and very helpful. and with that i'd ask unanimous consent that the record of today's hearing remain open until such time as our witnesses have provided any answers to any questions that may be submitted to them in write and the unanimous consent that it remain open for 15 dade's for additional for anything to be submitted noolt record of today's hearing. without objection that is so order and if no other members
have anything to add, then the subcommittee stands adjourned. thank you all. sunday night on after words, blue on blue, an insider's story of good cops catching bad cops. author charles cam tees decide, former chief of the nypd internal affairs bureau talks about his book with a former nypd officer and aujtor of "once a cop kwtsz. >> i spent 41 years in the nypd. i saw acts of courage, bravery, integrity.
but there's always that small number of cop who keeps you up at night. when i was eaprecinct commander everyone new the person or maybe two that you didn't trust and the other officers didn't trust him or her either. what i did when i went to internal affairsy brought the commanding officers on board and we would meet with them on a regular basis and i would ask them questions like, who in your command are you a little concerned about? who if your command keeps you up at night. >> watch after words sunday night at 9:00 eastern on c-span 2's book tv. >> next the deans of three public diplomacy programs discuss the academic programs they operate and the future of public diplomacy education in the u.s. they also look at kurnt immigration policies on international